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GlobalData Technology

Providing actionable insight into the technology industry

How Covid-19 is reshaping the threat landscape

Covid-19 has created shutdowns and major disruptions in employee working styles and supply chains across all sectors. One of the most critical issues is cyber security due to increased cyber attack threats as organisations become more dependent on technology.

Covid-19 and cyber security

GlobalData has been engaging with a number of organisations to establish what their strategic operational initiatives are to address the effects of Covid-19 and the role cyber security plays. Some of the challenging areas we have seen organisations face include:

  • Realignment and prioritisation of IT programmes – particularly in sectors like IT, health and retail, with a particular focus on more tactical short-term solutions.
  • Shift to remote working and providing adequate security measures
  • Minimising disruptions to supply chains – for example ensuring credible cloud security measures are in place as greater pressure is placed on accessing data outside the enterprise network.
  • Ensuring business continuity (employee safety and alternate supply chains) – particularly in sectors like healthcare and retail food chains, where monitoring shadow IT and providing security on cloud IT environments is required.

In light of Covid-19, the majority of cyber security vendors are emphasising that enterprises put in place adequate security measures and policies. These need to addresses malicious campaigns including email spam, malware attacks particularly with remote working, ransomware and malicious domains, and network protection to prevent embedded malware attacks that deploy social engineering tactics that infect corporate networks.

Cyber security vendors are prioritising their marketing

Cyber security vendors like Crowdstrike, Palo Alto Networks, Checkpoint, and McAfee are prioritising their marketing efforts. These centre around remote access VPN monitoring, endpoint threat prevention, mobile security and secure workplace, and cloud and device security. Within the cyber security landscape, vendors specialising in mobile or endpoint security with strong anti-malware capabilities will benefit.

Some of these vendors include Microsoft, CrowdStrike, Sophos, McAfee, Trend Micro and Fortinet. Managed security service providers (MSSPs) including NTT, BT Global Services and Orange Cyberdefense will also be relevant in the Covid-19 climate, particularly in relation to large multi-nationals requiring MSSPs and security operations centres (SOC).

Vendors are facing the same challenges

A key observation to make with respect to the cyber security vendors is that many of these companies are facing the same Covid-19 operational challenges that their clients are facing. Many of these vendors are focusing on business continuity and ensuring operations and SOCs are running efficiently with robust remote working structures in place with adequate IT and security.

As an example, Cisco is scaling up its remote working infrastructure for operations in India and is also considering “desktop as a service”. As Cisco scales up and progresses with this rollout, the company is having to address its own security posture. Normally, IT programmes of this nature do not pose significant challenges when implemented over acceptable timeframes. However, when this level of scale up is required in short timeframes greater consideration needs to be made with respect to security and associated polices.

NS Tech and GlobalData are part of the same group